There are many platforms that can be used to start your own blog, and one of the most common questions I get asked is where and how, and what platform is the best way to begin blogging?
In 2005 I started blogging on blogger.com.
Ten years ago, that was a platform that served me well, and gave me a wonderful grounding for learning about the essentials of blogs and how they work.
Fast forward to now, and I always, without a doubt recommend that people begin their blogs with WordPress.
As an industry benchmark for blogging software, WordPress is used by over 60 million people around the world to operate not only blogs, but wonderful websites with a wide range of options for functionality and design, and for that reason there’s really nothing more easy or flexible to begin with, or use for, your entire blogging journey.
When I was designing websites and blogs for clients they were all built on WordPress. From skate and surfwear stores, to real estate agents, resorts, business groups, local clubs, hairdressing salons, as well as our own travel blog and my personal blog now, they are all based and developed on WordPress, so why would you go with anything else?
The Two Types of WordPress & Why You Must Choose.
WordPress.com: With this choice, you’ll be hosting a blog on the hosted WordPress platform. It’s a great way to get comfortable with the software and get your head around how things work. It is free, and you still have a fair bit of the functionality but there are some reasons it’s not the ideal option. Firstly, the blog is never really yours, you will need to adhere to guidelines in place that prevent income streams and your own domain name ownership.
WordPress.org: This is the version of WordPress that is known as self-hosted. This means you purchase your own domain name and website hosting, and install the wordpress software on there, meaning the website is entirely yours to do with what you wish (as long as it’s in line with your web host’s guidelines and isn’t illegal of course!!!). Self-hosted WordPress allows you a never ending choice of options for plugins that boost functionality to the core WordPress software, as well as themes which are used to change your site look and design, and your wordpress install operates independently of any income restrictions that would be placed by using wordpress.com.
Which WordPress Option is best for you as a Blogger?
Self-hosted WordPress, from wordpress.org is the best option for anyone who is looking to have control over their blog. If your blog is a business, or even just something you want to have control over, then self-hosted is always the way to go.
If you’re unsure whether blogging is for you, or if you’ll like it or you’re simply curious of what WordPress looks like behind the scenes, then my advice is always to head to WordPress.com and join up, start a blog and play around, give things a test and a try.
In the coming weeks we’ll look at what it means and exactly how you go about starting a free wordpress blog, or your own self-hosted blog, and how to get things going so you can be blogging before you know it.